(Austin Stone Worship Note: This post is the first in a series on how band members can serve their worship leaders, and the second in a two-part post from Kyle on this topic. Part 1 can be found here.)
Part 2: Be Faithful, Serve the Role
In part one, we discussed why you as a worship musician should serve the worship leader that you lead with by striving towards the vision that they have. As God anoints whom He chooses as leaders, we are therefore called to serve those who lead. This time we will tackle a few of the more practical ways to do that by “serving the role”.
The Bride and Body of Christ
Paul uses a couple of great examples in Scripture of what the Church is. First, he says it is the “bride” of Christ. In fact, marriage itself exists as an example of how Christ treated us. In Ephesians 5, Paul calls this a “profound mystery”. It is a relationship built upon on mutual submission (as discussed earlier in Ephesians 5), where we attempt to “outdo” one another in service.
Secondly, and in a related way, he uses the example that the Church is like a body, where each part functions in a specific role. He ends his discussion in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 with the statement:
“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (vv. 26-27)
This is pretty mind-blowing if you think about it. We are parts of a whole; if one part doesn’t function correctly, the whole thing suffers. The body and bride of Christ are built upon mutual dependence.
Find Your Role. Serve.
This means that there is no role too small in your team in order for it function properly. Ask your worship leader what you can be doing to better serve the band. What tasks need to be accomplished and how can you help get them accomplished? If you’re like me, you serve in a band where each person has multiple roles unrelated to their instrument. Find your skill set beyond your instrument and employ it. If you are unwilling to serve in a capacity beyond, “I play bass guitar. Don’t ask me to do anything else”, you are short-changing your worship leader and, by extension, the leadership role that the Lord has placed you both in.
For example, I tend to be a very organized, “type A” personality, and it stresses me out when things are out of order and unscheduled. And it so happens that that is one aspect of our band that Aaron neither has the time or specific skills for. Therefore, I handle the booking and scheduling for our band. It frees Aaron up to pursue the bigger picture and vision for our band and church. Trying to juggle both parts would make both parts suffer. Therefore, serving where I am skilled helps the entire body run more smoothly. I may be the “foot” in this equation, as opposed to seemingly better jobs, but the body does not move without the feet. And the feet wander aimlessly without the eyes.
Let me encourage you that often these will not be “fun” jobs. Booking and scheduling is not my favorite thing in the world to do, but it is necessary, and if it helps further the cause of Christ, I will happily serve in that capacity. Sometimes we refer to these roles as “tent-making”, Paul’s “day job” which enabled him to support his ministry, referred to in Acts 18:3.
If you are unwilling to grab some of the “tent-making” tasks that are falling through the cracks in your band, I would encourage you to reflect on your priorities of service and the vision of your band (as we discussed in Part 1). If you play in a worship band to be seen and have a small element of relative “fame”, the Bible points to some pretty serious consequences for those who lead from false motives. Your primary outlook on your position and roles within your band should be of service. We serve because Christ first served us, and our cause is the fame of His Name, not our own. Paul makes clear that every part of the body is necessary, and we should never strive to be an eye if we are hands.
Faithful service to your role, like exercise, will strengthen that part of the body, and those muscles will eventually become indispensable.
You may be asking, “how do I even go about finding out ways to better serve my worship leader and find my specific role?” I’m glad you asked! I propose one simple way to get started:
Find a role that hasn’t been filled and fill it.
Are your rehearsals suffering because no one arrives early to set up? Sounds like you found a job. Could learning songs be streamlined if you had consistently formatted chord charts for all band members? Sounds like you found a job. Is communication with leadership lacking and Sunday mornings are suffering as a result? Sound like you found a job.
Serve. And do it faithfully.